Cyberpunk 2077: Everything You Need To Know About Non-Lethal Combat (2023)

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  • How Can You Tell If Someone Is Dead Or Alive?
  • Going Non-Lethal Does Not Impact The Story
  • Everything You Need To Know About Non-Lethal Weapons
  • Benefits Of Going Non-Lethal
  • Non-Lethal Vs. Lethal: Why It Does Not Matter

Non-lethal combat in Cyberpunk 2077 is an underexplained (and undeveloped) mechanic that has a lot more to it than people might expect. However, this is both a positive and a negative for the game in different ways. This guide will explain the actual ramifications of playing through the game non-lethally.

RELATED: Plot Holes In Cyberpunk 2077 That Were Never Explained

A non-lethal gameplay system does exist in Cyberpunk 2077. That said, it is clear that this system was not fully realized and used to have an impact on the story. It still works, and you can go through most of the game by not killing people. Furthermore, there are features related to non-lethal combat. Regardless, the decision to play non-lethal is merely an aesthetic decision.



(Video) Cyberpunk 2077 Non Lethal Build Guide - The Vigilante

Updated May 17, 2023, by Sean Murray: A lot's changed in Cyberpunk 2077, including non-lethal combat. So we've updated this guide to reflect those changes and tweak the formatting a bit too, choom.

How Can You Tell If Someone Is Dead Or Alive?

Cyberpunk 2077: Everything You Need To Know About Non-Lethal Combat (1)

There are a couple of ways to tell if an enemy is still alive. Sometimes it's as obvious as seeing them move around or breathe, but sometimes it is hard to tell.

The best and most obvious solution to finding out if an enemy is living or dead is to pull out a weapon and hover the reticle over them. If the reticle turns red, they're among the living. If not, they must have died either by your hand or some other cause.

The last method, which is best for when V needs to knock out someone from afar, is to scan them with V's optics since your scanner will specify whether the target is currently alive or dead.

Do Unconscious Enemies Wake Up In Cyberpunk 2077?

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The short answer is "no." In Cyberpunk 2077, unconscious enemies might as well be permanently comatose because they will never wake up again.

Once an enemy hits the floor, you can feel safe knowing they won't wake up. And no matter how tough the enemy is, once they are unconscious, all it takes is one hit/shot to finish them off, even with a non-lethal weapon.

Hitting an enemy while they are unconscious will kill them. So, even though they look dead, they can technically take damage. Be careful interacting with these unconscious enemies.

Going Non-Lethal Does Not Impact The Story

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(Video) Cyberpunk 2077 - Defeat Cyberpsychos the EASY Way! (Immediate & Non-Lethal KO)

The biggest problem with Non-Lethal combat in Cyberpunk is that it does not matter. Even in the Gigs where V’s Fixer tells you not to kill the target, the only thing that changes if you manage to keep them alive is the number of credits at the end.

And, if you make sure not to shoot the target in a way that would kill them, they’re likely to get knocked out anyway, even with lethal weapons.

It’s a shame, but Pacifist vs. Lethal playthroughs of Cyberpunk 2077 is virtually the same experience. Just look at the whole Panam & Nash side mission. If you kill Nash or leave him alive, Panam still talks like he’s dead, and he never shows up again.

It should be noted that there is one questline where killing does affect the outcome. This questline is called Psycho Killer, where you need to capture civilians who have Cyberpsychosis. Going non-lethal in this questline will increase the rewards for defeating the Cyberpsychos.

There is not much of a story for the Cyberpsyhcos. They are more like occasional boss fights sprinkled through the campaign. Whether you want to play non-lethal or not, it is worth going the non-lethal route for this questline.

Everything You Need To Know About Non-Lethal Weapons

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These Cyberware mods are a perfect option for those who want to play through the game and not worry about killing people. Also, it magically makes every weapon non-lethal, despite some of them being very deadly.

Target Analysis

An Optics Cyberware mod is the primary method of turning lethality on and off, as equipping it renders all V’s weapons non-lethal.


A mod used for non-lethal options on a more individual scale. You equip it to make a specific weapon non-lethal. This mod is only helpful for Cyberpsycho missions but still nice to have as an option.

Tranquilizer & Chemical Arm Mods

Even the Arm Cyberware has non-lethal options, such as how the Projectile Launch System has Tranquilizer Rounds.

Because of how buggy Cyberpunk 2077 is, even using these mods isn’t a guaranteed method of non-lethal combat, but it’s the best option you’ve got. At the very least, if things go wrong, the result can be used as another addition to the never-ending slew of hilarious Cyberpunk memes.

Certain Weapons Are Default Non-Lethal

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(Video) Non Lethal Tips in Cyberpunk 2077 How to Neutralize

While it’s nice that you’re able to force a weapon into non-lethality with an eyeball modification, the process is a bit easier for melee weapons or elemental damage. For example, all blunt weapons are non-lethal, and V’s fists are non-lethal as well.

These weapons are extra useful once you can afford the Gorilla Arms, as they’ll make it easier to knock someone out with fewer punches.

Remember, as soon you hit someone that is already unconscious, they die, so watch those mach-speed punches.

Benefits Of Going Non-Lethal

Shorter Takedown Animations

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There is a variety of animations that play out during melee combat. The type of animation that plays depends on what weapons V is using or if you manage to cut off a limb.

Mantis Blades, in particular, have a Kill Animation associated with them that annoyed many of you stealth-loving players, as it triggers way too often, especially with aerial assassinations. This animation would typically be fine, but the fact that you’re not invincible during this animation makes it highly impractical to use Mantis Blades.

Thankfully, by using Target Analysis, these animations, for the most part, are essentially turned off, which makes sense since most of them involve V slicing/beating people into a bloody mess.

Non-Lethal Takedowns Are 100% Silent

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You do not need to worry too much about stealth takedowns unless you are going for a stealth build as well. But, for those who want to go stealth, Non-Lethal takedowns are the way to go. They’re completely silent, meaning that none of their friends nearby will hear you knock them out.

(Video) Can You Beat Cyberpunk 2077 Without Killing Anyone?

Meanwhile, the sound of V stabbing or snapping their neck for the lethal takedown is just loud enough to perk their ears up.

If you plan on using stealth, you should invest some points into your Cool level and perks.

Non-Lethal Vs. Lethal: Why It Does Not Matter

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One big reason why many people feel like the non-lethal system was not fully realized or is a system from a previous build is that it is so uniquely buggy (though all of Cyberpunk 2077 is buggy, in general). For example:

  • Fire Should Be Lethal: It makes sense that Chemical Damage is non-lethal because that was their intention based on Perks in the Cool Attribute. That is cool and all, but why is Fire Damage non-lethal as well? How is the guy who was running around as a blazing inferno just knocked out?
  • Random Importance: This might be the only real example of non-lethal having an impact on the story, and it is right at the end of Judy’s side story. If you kill Maiko, Judy’s romance storyline just ends. But, this is the only time killing someone has a negative impact, implying that this result is a holdover from a previous game build.
  • Constant Bugs: Enemies constantly collide with terrain and die from being put down, Maiko especially, but that is not all. Bodies glitching through the world, enemies being considered dead after being hidden in a dumpster, or the constant occurrence where stacking bodies will create a clipping nightmare that can even push a 3000-series Nvidia GPU to the max.

Not only does the non-lethal system feel unfinished/out-of-place, but there is also plenty of proof that this system was supposed to be more complex than it turned out to be:

  • Seamless Non-Lethal Takedowns: In one of the gameplay trailers, V could knock out an enemy without grabbing them first, a mechanic that is gone from the final product.
  • Rewards For Pacifism: There was an incentive not to kill people, as in the same trailer, V knocked out someone then plugged into them to get some extra info. This feature is again gone from the final product.
  • No Body-Toting Playstyle: Many of the perks in the Athletics tree specify benefits for V while carrying bodies, yet there is no easy way to grab people outside of stealth. This system used to be more complex but was cut sometime during development.

Overall, it is not worth playing the entire game non-lethally. There is no incentive to do so, and it is not well implemented. The only time it matters is for the Cyberpsychosis questline mentioned above.

(Video) Can You Beat CYBERPUNK As a Pacifist?

Ultimately, you should probably focus on playing the game any other way. Hopefully, CD Projekt Red adds more support for non-lethal gameplay, but that is unlikely by this point.

Next: Cyberpunk 2077: Areas You Should Visit Immediately


Cyberpunk 2077: Everything You Need To Know About Non-Lethal Combat? ›

And, if you make sure not to shoot the target in a way that would kill them, they're likely to get knocked out anyway, even with lethal weapons. It's a shame, but Pacifist vs. Lethal playthroughs of Cyberpunk 2077 is virtually the same experience.

How do you fight non-lethal cyberpunk? ›

If you aren't the netrunner type you can use weapons with non-lethal ammo. You can check which ones don't kill on a hit. Some melee weapons will also work; as long as your last hit isn't a lethal weapon, they'll be “neutralized.” In general, “blunt weapons” are non-lethal while “sharp weapons” are.

Are Quickhacks non-lethal? ›

Overview. This quickhack causes an enemy to suffer moderate non-lethal damage from an almost instantaneous Electrical charge that overloads their cyberware. At Rare rarity or higher, it will apply an EMP effect to the target for several seconds, causing their Cyberware to malfunction.

Are gorilla arms non-lethal? ›

Target Skills

The Gorilla Arms do count as a blunt weapon, so any skills that involve blunt weapons are a great choice. Perks are not given away freely in Cyberpunk 2077, so spend them wisely.

Is pepper spray non-lethal? ›

Pepper spray is small, lightweight, easily concealable, and accessible. It is easy to carry it on your person or in a purse or small bag. Pepper spray is a non-lethal weapon that does not have lasting effects.

Is there any benefit to non lethal in Cyberpunk 2077? ›

Going Non-Lethal Does Not Impact The Story

The biggest problem with Non-Lethal combat in Cyberpunk is that it does not matter. Even in the Gigs where V's Fixer tells you not to kill the target, the only thing that changes if you manage to keep them alive is the number of credits at the end.

Is there any benefit to non lethal cyberpunk? ›

You use to get XP for the non-lethal takedown, and the same amount again if you delivered the lethal hit afterwards. If you don't want to kill, you go non-lethal. There is no advantage to it.

Are animal knuckles lethal cyberpunk? ›

The Gorilla Arms are a powerful cybernetic melee weapon, and the legendary Animals Knuckles mod makes them even more deadly.

Do quickhacks work on Adam Smasher? ›

With Adam Smasher's attention finally drawn away, use your quickhacking abilities to distract him.

What Cyberdeck is best for combat quickhacks? ›

The Arasaka Mk. 4 cyberdeck specializes in maintaining and supporting stealth quickhacks with 10 RAM, eight buffer, and six quickhack slots.

Can you beat cyberpunk without killing anyone? ›

In conclusion, it is possible to beat cyberpunk without killing anyone, but it is not always easy. The protagonists often have to fight and sometimes they do get hurt. CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 has multiple endings in which Johnny is either alive in V's body or V himself.

What's better mantis blades or Gorilla Arms? ›

Honestly, Gorilla arms seems to be the only other decent choice? Mantis Blades - Scales with Reflex, does good damage, has perks, slow compared to katana. Gorilla Arms - Scales with Strength, has relevant perks, absolutely necessary for Beat on the Brat missions.

Can I use Gorilla Arms in Beat the Brat? ›

Gorilla Arms

They increase your unarmed damage massively, and let you hit twice as fast, allowing for a much higher damage output than normal unarmed attacks would.

What is the least lethal bullet? ›

Rubber bullets, rubber buckshot, soft polymer rounds, wax bullets, plastic bullets, beanbag rounds, sponge grenades, ring airfoil projectiles (both kinetic and tear gas projectiles) and rubber bullets with electroshock effect (e.g. Taser XREP rounds) are less lethal than conventional metal bullets, and are also ...

What is the best gun for a woman living alone? ›

Semi-Auto Pistol

The semi-automatic pistol is a popular choice among women these days. This is because it negates a lot of the problems revolvers have. For instance, it has a larger ammo capacity compared to the revolver. It's easier to shoot and smaller and lighter.

Are there non-lethal bullets? ›

Some of the rounds available include rubber stinger or buckshot, rubber slugs, Rubber 40mm rubber batons and bean bag rounds. Since they are often fired from firearms, there is a great deal of regulation concerning their carry and deployment.

Can you survive as V in cyberpunk? ›

In the end, Cyberpunk 2077's protagonist V's fate is determined by the player, with one unavoidable caveat: if V survives Cyberpunk, they only have six months to live due to the Relic.

Can V survive Cyberpunk endings? ›

If Misty confirms that V got The Sun card, then it all but shows that The Star ending means that V will be able to live a long and happy life. Cyberpunk 2077 is available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series.

How important is body cyberpunk? ›

Body is one of the attributes that players can choose to enhance in Cyberpunk 2077. If someone wants to focus on raw physical power and tanking hits then this skill tree is for them. Adding points into the Body attribute will increase a player's health, stamina, and damage with the Gorilla Arms.

Should I give Johnny control of my body cyberpunk? ›

During the Nomad ending, V has the choice between giving Johnny control or retaining the body for himself. Retaining the body lets V run away with Panam after the Adam Smasher fight, but giving the body to Johnny results in a simple life where Johnny has another chance to live.

Should you lose the fight on purpose cyberpunk? ›

If you throw the final fight…

Throwing the fight lines V's pockets with more eddies than if you chose to take on Razor. Understandably, if you choose to purposely lose the fight, you won't earn anywhere near as much Street Cred. If you want more cash, this is the way to go.

What should you not do in cyberpunk? ›

Cyberpunk 2077: 16 Things You Should Never Do
  1. 1 Be Overly Aggressive. There are many ways to deal with an engagement in Cyberpunk 2077.
  2. 2 Do Only The Main Quest. ...
  3. 3 Fast Travel Everywhere. ...
  4. 4 Stick To Night City. ...
  5. 5 Do The Harder Missions. ...
  6. 6 Wait To Get Mantis Blades. ...
  7. 7 Stick To One Vehicle. ...
  8. 8 Reject The Ripperdocs. ...
Mar 27, 2023

Is it worth keeping Fingers alive cyberpunk? ›

Players have a moral decision to make when it comes to Fingers the Ripperdoc. Killing him awards a bounty on V's head and a lost source of cyberware. Keeping him alive means swallowing morality but a source of some rare implants.

What is the most overpowered weapon in cyberpunk? ›

The Overwatch sniper rifle already has a damage level of 1026-1254, but if players focus on achieving the best Cyberpunk builds to take on the game, it can do 10 times the damage it normally would.

What is better reinforced tendons or fortified ankles? ›

Fortified Ankles will unlock the Charged Jump, allowing players to charge up a jump and leap high into the air. On the other hand, installing Reinforced Tendons will allow the player to jump a second time when already in the air.

Should you let Adam Smasher live? ›

Whether you choose to kill or spare Smasher is entirely up to you, as the decision will have no effect on the outcome of the final story.

What happens if you loot Adam Smasher? ›

Other than the bragging rights of successfully raiding Smasher's stash, you'll get the legendary Ba Xing Chong. It's a Smart Shotgun that can deal tons of damage in a single shot. However, it is worth noting that you can't take his armor.

What is the strongest melee in Cyberpunk 2077? ›


It has a damage of 260, with an Attacks Per Second of 5. Which, already is far more deadly than the Satori. However, those stats aren't exactly why the Jinchu-Mari is one of the best melee weapons in Cyberpunk 2077.

What quickhack is best for Cyberpsychos? ›

The quickhacks “Suicide”, “Overheat” (alternatively “Contagion”), and “Weapon Glitch” have proven to be quite effective against most Cyberpsychos.

Does killing cyberpsychos matter? ›

Yes you can kill them if you want, the non lethal is just so they can recover through research but you don't have to. what you can do is complete the quest with out killing them then after you talk to Regina then kill them for the bounty.

How do you catch Cyberpsycho alive? ›

If you head to the right of the entrance, then you'll be able to get behind him while patrolling and throw an EMP Grenade, or use the Short Circuit quickhack to hamper him. He will then attempt to chase you down once alerted, so keep your distance and make use of the cover and explosives in the area to take him down.

How many endings does Cyberpunk have? ›

There are technically six endings in Cyberpunk 2077. At a glance, and with no spoilers, these are: One main ending path and one 'bonus' short ending which have no prior requirements. Two 'regular' ending paths with requires completing certain side-quests to access, with one of these ending paths having two outcomes.

Should I get monowire or Gorilla Arms? ›

Gorilla Arms mostly for the Boxing Quests but the Monowire is probably the all around best if your doing a blades build.

How to get free Mantis Blades? ›

It is possible to find Mantis Blades by looting certain boxes throughout Night City, but the easiest way to outfit yourself with a pair of Mantis Blades in Cyberpunk 2077 is to visit a Ripperdoc.

Do Gorilla Arms take up a weapon slot? ›

You need at least 20 Street Cred to buy these from ripperdocs. Once you have the Gorilla Arms cyberware equipped to V's arm slot, you are then able to execute a special melee attack against enemies in combat.

Who is the boxing champion in cyberpunk? ›

Walkthrough. The opponent here is César Diego Ruiz, a member of the Valentinos and boxing champion of the Glen.

Do mantis blades work in beat on the brat? ›

Get the Gorilla Arms cyberware for increased damage. Mantis Arms aren't allowed in Beat on the Brat fights.

Can I use mantis blades in fights cyberpunk? ›

Mantis Blades are one of the many cybernetics that you can find in Cyberpunk 2077. This particular cyberware is an active one that you can activate at will in combat to slice and dice your enemies with your own arms.

What is the scariest bullet? ›

Dum Dum Bullets

The theory is that upon impact, the lead slug expands and mushrooms to a much wider diameter than the bullet itself. The mushrooming also generates sharp points that cause grievous wounds passing through human flesh.

What is the weakest bullet in the world? ›

2mm Kolibri
Bullet mass/typeVelocityEnergy
0.2 g (3 gr) FMJ200 m/s (660 ft/s)4 J (3.0 ft⋅lbf)

What is the hardest bullet to find? ›

What Is the Hardest Ammo to Find?
  • 30-30 Winchester: Popular among hunters, this caliber is in high demand and difficult to track down. ...
  • 308 Winchester: Another popular choice among hunters and tactical shooters, people around the country are snatching up .
Mar 15, 2022

How to do air takedown Cyberpunk? ›

Jump onto an unexpecting victim and spam the R key as you're about to land on them. The Hidden Dragon is a skill you can get in Cyberpunk 2077.

How do you fight with fists in Cyberpunk 2077? ›

Stand on the edge and notice how they will stop in place. Go just close enough so that the fighter will charge in. Then move behind the target and strong attack them so they stumble outside of the area where they are comfortable.

How do you beat bloody ritual cyberpunk? ›

Everything You Can Scan in Bloody Ritual

The usual quick tips for dealing with a cyberpsycho like Zaria Hughes is to use the quickhack, Cyberware Malfunction. This will both stun them and prevent any cyberware abilities like dashing quickly. Also, they have a 30% weakness to electricity.

How do gorilla arms work cyberpunk? ›

Gorilla Arms charge with each attack. When you perform a Strong Attack, they deal bonus damage based on the charge level. Gorilla Arms also provide a bonus of 2/4/6 to your Body Attribute checks.


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